Beef Kofte with Greek Salad and Couscous

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Jamie Oliver is the man – nope can’t do it in 15 min to save my life but 30 – 45 for a complete meal that tastes amazing – I’ll forgive you.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1.5 tsp garam masala
Olive oil
1/4 c pistachios, ground
Thyme
1 TBSP runny honey
1/4 c mint, minced
Chile pepper flake
3/4 c couscous
1 1/2 c boiling water
4 c crispy lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 c cherry tomatoes
1/4 c kalamata olives, chopped
4 TBSP yogurt
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 c feta crumbled
Flat bread or pita

In a bowl combine meat, salt, pepper and garam masala. Divide into 8 logs. In a large non stick pan, heat 1 TBDP olive oil over medium heat, cook logs for 10 – 12 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Toss the meat with with honey and nuts.

Combine water, couscous, mint, chile flakes in a bowl, set aside.

In a small bowl whisk yogurt and lemon juice. Toss with lettuce, onions, cucs, tomatoes, feta and olives.

To serve place 2 logs in warm bread, salad and couscous On the side.

Serves. 4.

Fig, Arugula, and Hazelnut Tartine

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I love Tartines! Is case you don’t know, a Tartine is a simple open faced sandwich. This one brings together all my favorite things. And now that Trader Joes is selling frozen whole figs, I can have it anytime of the year.

Ingredients:
3 figs, quartered
3 oz goat cheese
2 slices bread, toasted
Hazelnuts, chopped
1 slice Proscuitto
Couple thin slices or red onion
Arugula
Hazelnut oil or olive
Best quality balsamic (I used the 30 year stuff)

Spread goat cheese on toast. Top with figs, hazelnuts, Proscuitto, onion and arugula. Drizzle with a little oil and balsamic.

Serves 1.

Light Chocolate Pudding

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Even when I’m watching my weight, I need dessert. This is a quick and easy pudding that will satisfy any chocolate craving.

Ingredients:
1/4 c cornstarch
2 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
1 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 c fat-free milk

Heat all the ingredients except for the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and transfer to small dessert cups.

Crispy Kimchi and Pork Dumpling Pancakes

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This recipe is from Food & Wine Magazine and it is amazing!! I made a couple modifications; I added more kimchi and green onion, omitted the tofu and upped the amount of pork.

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 c soy sauce
1 TBSP white vinegar
1/2 TBSP gochugaru (Korean chile powder) or crushed red pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 TBSP sugar

DUMPLINGS
10 oz ground pork
6 scallions, minced
1/2 c drained kimchi
3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece peeled ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
30 round wonton wrappers
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
3 TBSP canola oil

MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE Mix all of the ingredients until the sugar dissolves.

MAKE THE DUMPLINGS In a food processor combine kimchi, garlic, and ginger until finely chopped. Mix all of the ingredients except the wrappers, cornstarch and oil. Arrange 4 wrappers on a work surface; keep the rest covered with a damp paper towel. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and drop 1 TBSP of the filling in the centers. Fold over one side of the wrapper to form a half moon, pressing the edges together. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; assemble the remaining dumplings.

In a bowl, stir the cornstarch with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water.

Heat 1 TBSP of the oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Arrange 10 dumplings around the edge of the skillet, overlapping slightly (there should be almost no empty space). Cook over moderate heat until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Drizzle one-third of the slurry over and around the dumplings, cover the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and cook until the dumplings are cooked through and the slurry forms a thin crust, 4 minutes. Carefully invert the dumpling pancake onto a plate. Repeat to make 2 more pancakes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Makes 3 large pancakes.

Lemon Asparagus Pasta

The first asparagus of the season showed up at the farmers market last weekend and I only bought 4 bunches. This was the first dish I whipped up. There is something magical about asparagus, lemon and cream – with a little pasta.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
2 bunches of asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 c cream fraiche
Salt and pepper
1/2 c parm cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes. Remove. Add pasta and cook according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet heat cream over low heat, add pasta, asparagus and lemon juice and zest. Cook for 2 minutes, stir in cheese and serve.

Serves 2

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Prosciutto and Mozzarella Piadine (sandwich)

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Another Food & Wine winner!! Piadine is a flatbread sandwich and they are delicious!! The dough is super easy and mostly hands off. I whipped it up at breakfast and they rolled them out for a quick and healthy lunch.

ingredients:
3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Kosher salt
1/3 c warm water
1/4 c milk, warmed
4 TBSP butter, softened
4 c baby arugula (about 3 ounces)
1 TBSP olive oil
Pepper
16 thin slices of prosciutto
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour with the baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Add the water, milk and butter and beat at low speed for 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and let stand for 3 hours.

On a floured surface, form the dough into 4 balls; set them on a floured baking sheet. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Roll out 1 ball of dough to a 10-inch round; prick with a fork. Oil the skillet. Add the round and cook over moderately high heat until it browns on the bottom and bubbles on top. Flip the round and cook until it’s browned on the bottom; transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

In a bowl, toss the arugula and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Divide the prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula among the flatbreads and fold over. Bake until the mozzarella is softened. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Kale

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I love kale add it to pasta with some citrus and cream and I’m in heaven! This is a quick and tasty weeknight pasta.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
Res pepper flakes
1/2 c chicken stock
1 bunch of kale, thick stems removed and chopped
1 c 1/2 and 1/2
8 oz pasta
1/3 c Parmesan, grated
1 lemon zested and juiced
3 TBSP parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions, pepper flakes and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and kale and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 and 1/2 reduce heat to simmer and stir. Add pasta and a little pasta water if needed. Stir in cheese, zest and juice. Top with parsley and serve.

Serves 4.